Tag Archives: Shah Alam

Bon Odori 32nd fest 2008

My third time visit! Last year in the news, there were a number of 30,000 visitors expected to attend. I wonder how many have turned up for this year’s event because the crowd was definitely MASSIVE!! compared to the year before.

Bon Odori (Bon dance), which is similar to Cheng Beng festival, is a Japanese Buddhist custom dated back 500 years ago and celebrated religiously in Japan. The festival is held to honor the departed spirits of one’s ancestors.

In Malaysia, Bon Odori is celebrated every year around mid-July (organized by Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur) in Selangor and Penang, where it serves as an informal cultural-exchange event between Malaysia and Japan. This festival includes a traditional dance circling around yagura, where drum performers are staged together with graceful dancers dressed in yukata.

A fun, sweaty, public event, no doubt. A heaven for avid photographers out there. But also a place where foods and drinks sold in cut-throat prices. Perhaps the only place where you get to see people dressed in pajamas and clubbing gears and goth costumes even, other than sleepover parties or places like Sungei Wang plaza. And all you get home free as a token of appreciation for attending the event is some sponsored plastic fan. Or two, depending how much you’re willing to beg the volunteers to get. Something tells me that I won’t be be attending this event every year for long. The hype is picking up.

Yagura

Yagura

Picnic evening

Yukata girls

Dusk break

Into the night

performers

crowd

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